To Boost Your Happiness, Pursue Hobbies

By exploring your passions, you’ll reduce stress and anxiety.



Getty Images


Here’s a news flash: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Americans last year averaged more than five hours of leisure time every day—which practically cries out for a hobby. Some of us are already all in, experimenting with ways to turn favorite family dishes vegan (cauliflower adobo, anyone?), sweating it out at a gym or hot yoga studio, hitting the surf breaks, volunteering at a museum or lo‘i, or planning our next trips. Others are still looking for that magical hobby that excites our passions and increases our happiness quotient. These tips are for you.


Hobbies can reduce stress and anxiety and give us a feeling of accomplishment. If you’re looking for one, try looking into your past. What did you enjoy as a child, teen or young adult (no, we’re not talking about NSYNC)? I dusted off my old ‘ukulele from the late ’80s and, with new strings and a tuning app on my phone, started playing again. And I’m beyond excited to rediscover figure skating once Ice Palace reopens. I’ll be working up toward a centered scratch spin, a move easily executed by long-ago me. Age is just a number, right?


Whether a solo or group activity, sports and fitness hobbies help maintain or improve our physical health. They’re also natural gateways to communities of like-minded people, a perfect opportunity to connect and build relationships. Check out, click on “Register for Non-Fee Classes,” then “Activities”—you’ll find everything from archery to pickleball and even ‘ukulele classes. For the creative arts, try the Honolulu Museum of Art School, or sign up for a workshop at the Downtown Art Center or Fishcake’s Fishschool in Kaka‘ako. Don’t waste time though: They fill up quickly. For performing arts there are music and dance schools, and foodies can find hands-on cooking classes at Kapi‘olani Community College. All this is just a start. Once you find your passion, who knows what happiness levels your five-plus hours of daily leisure time could bring?



See more Happiness stories